Our Gospel this week is Luke 24:44-53, taken today from the Christian Standard Bible (CSB).
He told them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you — that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. He also said to them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead the third day, and repentance for forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high.” Then he led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. And while he was blessing them, he left them and was carried up into heaven. After worshiping him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they were continually in the temple praising God.
More than just visiting His disciples one more time, Jesus has things to teach and encouragement to offer right up until the time He returns to the Father. He loves and trusts them and wants to make sure they are aware of what comes next. This is not an ending but the start of a new phase in God’s plan of salvation.
He tells them “repentance for forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed in his name to all the nations” (v. 47). Jesus has chosen them to be the channel of God’s love for the whole world. It is an awesome responsibility that has been handed down among the generations of God’s children to us now.
As the disciples of today, what are we doing to continue the work Jesus gave us? While our efforts may seem small compared to the stories we read in scripture, they are certainly no less important. As long as we press on in faith, sharing the Good News with the world, we are fulfilling the charge we have received from Him.
Gracious God, You call us to share Your word and Your love with all Your children. Help us to be the workers You need, spreading the story of Jesus to all. Amen.